Gunmen attack Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul

Kabul: At least four gunmen have launched an attack on Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel, Afghan officials say.

Special forces killed two of the attackers, an interior ministry spokesman said, and are trying to get to the others, BBC reported.

The gunmen stormed the hotel on Saturday evening, shooting at guests and detonating grenades.

At least five people have been injured, officials said. It is not clear how many have been killed.

The attack began at about 9 p.m., with reports suggesting the gunmen shot at security guards as they made their way into the five-storey building.

They targeted staff and guests before special forces were called in.

Security forces then cleared the ground floor of the luxury hotel but the attackers are still on the floors above, spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told the BBC.

Some reports said the hotel had been hosting an IT conference attended by provincial officials at the time. One witness told Reuters news agency that the attackers had taken hostages.

The attack comes just days after the US embassy in Kabul issued a warning about hotels in the city.

“We are aware of reports that extremist groups may be planning an attack against hotels in Kabul,” the embassy wrote in a public security alert published on Thursday, though it highlighted another hotel near the international airport as a possible target.

“These groups may also be targeting public gatherings/demonstrations, government facilities, transportation, markets, and places where foreigners are known to congregate.”